Baja Chicken Tacos
Fresh, flavorful, and ready in less than 30 minutes, this light take on Baja Chicken Tacos just might become a go-to meal! The tender chicken can be grilled or pan-fried and serves as the perfect foundation for all your favorite toppings: we love lettuce or cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado, and a simple chipotle crema.
Even if you’ve never met a taco you didn’t like, these are still very likely to be a new favorite! I think of them as “skinny” Baja chicken tacos, because they have tons of fresh, bright flavors but no heavy breading or fried coating to weigh you down.
These tacos are also so easy and quick to make. The marinade punches above its weight to guarantee every bite of chicken is tender and flavorful. So let’s get to it!
Ingredients & Common Substitutions
To marinate this delicious Baja chicken, you will need:
- Plain Greek yogurt.
- Olive oil.
- Lime juice: fresh if possible, but bottled works, too.
- Spices: chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and lime juice all play together nicely to flavor the chicken, while Greek yogurt is a secret ingredient for marinades. Just a couple tablespoons makes the whole mixture thick and creamy, and keeps your cooked chicken incredibly moist.
I highly recommend using thin-sliced chicken breasts, which you can purchase labeled as such at most grocery store. You can also slice “regular” chicken breasts in half through the flat middle. Thin-sliced chicken breasts cook more quickly and evenly, and have more opportunity to absorb flavor during their quick time in the marinade.
As always with taco toppings, the sky is the limit, and it comes down simply to your own preference. Here are our go-to fixings for Baja chicken tacos. Obviously you can’t go wrong with whatever you love — or already have in your fridge!
What is Baja sauce?
Wondering what, exactly, is Baja sauce? It’s essentially a creamy sauce with a touch of heat, popularized as a condiment by Taco Bell, of all places.
You’ll find some complicated recipes to replicate it, most of them involving mayonnaise, poblano or jalapeno peppers, and often additional spices and seasonings. For everyday cooking, though, I find this incredibly simple combination of Greek yogurt and adobo sauce to be easy and perfect. Add a squeeze of lime or a smidge of water to thin out the sauce to your liking.
You can use sour cream or mayo in place of the yogurt, and the easiest way to get adobo sauce is by cracking open a can of chipotle chili peppers, typically sold in the Mexican or Latin food aisle of your everyday grocery store, and spooning out the sauce that surrounds the peppers. The rest of the peppers and sauce keep well in the fridge for 3-4 weeks, tightly covered, and can be frozen, too.
How To Make Baja Chicken Tacos
These tasty tacos are a super simple affair to whip up:
- Marinate chicken.
- Prep toppings.
- Cook chicken and slice.
- Assemble and eat!
How long to marinate Baja chicken?
For good flavor, you can marinate this chicken for as little as 5-10 minutes at room temperature, or cover tightly and marinate in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
Longer than that and the lime juice may begin to compromise the chicken’s texture.
While the chicken marinates and cooks, prep all of your toppings.
If I’m being honest, my favorite way to make these is to prep the chicken in the marinade and hand it off to grill outside, but it can be just as easily cooked on the stovetop, as well.
Pro Tip: You can achieve perfect grill marks on your stovetop by using a simple cast iron grill pan. It’s affordable and we use it at least 3-4 times per week!
Once the chicken is cooked, allow it to cool for a minute or two, so the juices don’t run out excessively while you are slicing it. Cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces, small enough to easily pile into your tortillas.
This is the point at which you can congratulate yourself for basically replicating Chipotle at home. 🙂
How to warm tortillas for tacos?
There are three main methods for warming tortillas: covered with a damp paper towel in the microwave, wrapped in aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven, or heated in a skillet or directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. The last method is my favorite, as long as I don’t need 10+ tortillas at once!
All of these methods work well with store-bought flour or corn tortillas, and are even better with homemade flour tortillas when you want to do it all from scratch!
You will for sure want to add all the most delicious toppings to make these tacos your own! Perfect pairings include:
- Red or green cabbage, thinly-sliced
- Red or green leaf lettuce
- Chopped tomatoes
- Pico de gallo or blender salsa
- Chopped avocado or guacamole
- Crumbled Cotija or shredded Monterey Jack
- A squeeze of lime juice
- Chopped bell pepper or matchstick carrots — not traditional but they add color, crunch, and more nutrition
Want to make your meal into a real celebration? Don’t forget the margaritas — we love this margarita with orange juice best of all — and an irresistible Mexican chocolate cake!
More Easy Taco Recipes
- The Best Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Jalapeno Lime Fish Tacos
- Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos
- Crispy Spiced Chickpea Tacos
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos
If you try these Baja Chicken Tacos, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
You can also FOLLOW me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER for more great recipes and ideas!
Baja Chicken Tacos
For the Marinade and Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- juice of 1 lime
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 lb. thin-sliced chicken breasts
- shredded red or green cabbage
- shredded green leaf lettuce
- pico de gallo
- chopped avocado or guacamole
- finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1-2 Tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
- Marinate Chicken. In a medium bowl, combine the 2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt, olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, lime juice, and salt to make the marinade. Whisk until evenly combined. Add the chicken breasts and flip so that each side is coated. Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes, or cover and place in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
- When ready, grill or sauté the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side in a skillet lightly coated with olive oil over medium-high heat, until lightly browned and cooked through. Discard the marinade.
- While chicken cooks, gently warm tortillas and prepare other toppings as desired. If making the chipotle crema, combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add additional adobo sauce or a squeeze of lime juice to taste.
- When chicken is done, remove to a cutting board and slice into bite-sized pieces. Fill tortillas, top as desired, and enjoy!
- Recipe adapted from The Live Fit Girls.
15 Comments on “Baja Chicken Tacos”
Baja chicken tacos scream summer to me! Not sure why, but nonetheless, I will eat and make anytime of year! I have this on the menu for this weekend! Love all the toppings you add!
Thank you so much for sharing this! We loved the tacos and will surely have this again. The chicken is really easy to make and it tasted so delicious!
My family LOVES these tacos! Your chipotle crema is one of my favorite sauces now and I keep it on hand for a number of other meals too! We don’t like too much spice, but the flavor is so good that we actually add 3 tbsp of the adobo sauce to the Greek yogurt and find that it adds just the right amount of spice for us. We are making these yet again tonight! It’s the perfect light, summer meal that you can stuff yourself with without the guilt! Thanks for the recipe that has become a staple in our home!!
Monica, you were right-these are a new family favorite! Though I don’t understand the skinny part of the title, since the only skinny thing here after our dinner was the dog and the ants.
Totally my kind of tacos, Monica!! These sound so flavorful and with all of the extra eating lately, I would definitely appreciate the “skinny” 😉
Love the marinade and the finished tacos. Here in the U.K. we don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo, our family really does love Mexican food. Pinned and I’m off to search for your homemade tortillas.
Yum! Yum! I cannot get enough tacos. These sound so good with the Chipotle Crema! 😮
I like marinating chicken in yogurt marinades! These tacos look just perfect and the chicken so juicy. Yum!
I’m so glad I started adding yogurt to marinades like this – it’s made a huge number of my chicken dishes so much better! Thanks for stopping by, Julia!
I’m doing a lot of tacos this week and i’m totally loving it. And this skinny chicken tacos is just right up my alley. Looks absolutely perfect!! Can’t wait to try this version of tacos too.
Thank you so much! I want to be eating at your house this week, haha!
I wish I had all the ingredients in my kitchen right now because now these are all I want for dinner tonight! These look so tasty!
Hi Sues–thanks so much! I see a quick shopping trip in your future, maybe? 🙂
Love the Greek yogurt marinade! Tangy dairy products always lend to tender, juicy chicken. This looks so delish!
They really do work wonders! Thanks so much, Britt!